Do Orthodontic Appliances Cause Pain?
Well, Do They?
Ongoing clinical research and advances in technology continue to bring significant new devices, tools and procedures to the field of orthodontics. While the goal remains finding newer and better ways to diagnose and treat patients, possibly the most appealing advancements come in the form of making the patient experience a more comfortable one.
This is no less important than in the installation and wearing of orthodontic appliances; more familiarly referred to as braces. The latest orthodontic appliances include advanced electronic scanning. These produce digital images from which aligners are made using a clear thermoplastic material. These are marketed under their trademark name, Invisalign. An FDA-approved alternative to the more traditional style of brackets and wires.
A Welcome Orthodontic Opportunity
Patients still want to know if becoming a candidate for such teeth straightening methods means they are in for a painful experience. Orthodontists encourage patients to learn about these new technologies as they are welcomed to see for themselves how these orthodontic appliances have changed for the better. In addition, a consultation allows patients an opportunity to see how their orthodontist is committed to facilitating a successful treatment with as little discomfort occurring as possible. Despite all the effort to reach today’s pinnacle of success in this area, the nature of pain is a complex, subjective and multi-dimensional condition; one that your doctor wants to help manage with you.
Movement of Teeth is a Progressive Process
Many patients are surprised and pleased to discover that the movement of teeth to correct all manner of teeth straightening for a flawless smile can be accomplished in a relatively short span of time. On average, patients can expect treatment to be completed between six and fifteen months, though each treatment is unique to the individual. This is why your orthodontist in Spartanburg, SC ensures your visit is a friendly one aimed at demonstrating and transferring the sense of confidence patients achieve throughout treatment and once it is completed.
How Brackets Are Fitted
For many people considering braces, they are under the misconception that these appliances cause pain to the lips and gums. First, the brackets and wires are installed on the outside of the teeth. Second, there is no drilling involved in this procedure, and there is no piercing of the lips or gums. There is no need for a general anesthesia and, therefore, no need for the use of needles or any other sharp instruments. These appliances can be clipped to the teeth or cemented in place.
The main reason for discomfort is due to pressure being applied to the teeth as they are realigned. In most cases, this subsides within a few days. Patients are able to discuss this initial stage with their orthodontist to learn what foods they can eat that will not cause further annoyance. Softer foods or a liquid diet are good examples. Patients are asked to report if there are any areas of the brackets or wires that may cause irritation inside the mouth. There is a wax that may be applied and molded over any of these parts to ease the irritation.
If pain does become a distraction, doctors recommend over-the-counter medications to treat it such as Ibuprofen or aspirin. The pain will not be severe enough to necessitate prescription pain remedies. Some patients find chewing on something helps alleviate discomfort as it exercises the jaw muscles and massages the gums at the same time. Sometimes, your doctor may provide a bite wafer you can simply bite down on to ease the pain. All of these options help increase blood flow in the mouth, which helps keep inflammation down.
More About the Thermoplastic Alternative to Metal
The custom-made clear plastic alternative to metal brackets designed and manufactured by Align Technologies, Inc. is known commercially as Invisalign. There are many advantages to this type of aligner:
There are no metal or ceramic parts
The plastic contains no bisphenol-A or BPA
To the casual observer, these trays are invisible
They use gentle pressure over time to move teeth into their proper position making for a more comfortable experience
The results are detectable at each stage of fitting. The series of aligners that are customized for each patient’s specific treatment. A new set of aligners is worn biweekly. Then office visits about every eight to ten weeks will check the progress of treatment. In particular, teens prefer the Invisalign trays to traditional braces for the reasons already outlined.
High-Tech 3-D Scanning is Amazing
The initial visit for this appliance includes state-of-the-art 3-D imaging to precisely map the teeth and to produce the trays. This is a departure from the previous methods of making an impression of the teeth using a gooey material that was sticky and messy. Eliminating the potential gag-reflex associated with this method is a most-welcomed absence. The process of producing digital images of the teeth takes but a few short minutes and patients are able to view the results on the screen.
At Nease & Higginbotham Orthodontics, the knowledgeable doctors and friendly staff are committed to accommodating the hectic pace of busy moms with offices located in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Gaffney. The practitioners at these conveniently located orthodontic offices are enjoying the ease and precision achieved with the latest technology and welcome the opportunity to share it with prospective patients. The days of apprehension and fear are no more as people discover their visit is both comfortable and easy. If you are interested in top-quality care for children, teens and adults, call today for a free consultation. Your unique smile awaits you.
Do Orthodontic Appliances Cause Pain?